‘What if…?’

A Christmas Reflection by Bryony Wood

‘What if’

This book God, Your inspired, divine Word to us

Your holy Bible, that so often ties me in knots,

Often confusing, challenging, comforting

But what if ….what if… what if…what I read, is true?

What do you need me to know? To discover?

Words can so easily tangle and tease, making truth hard to grasp

But words are all we have,

to shape, to explain….. to understand truth.

These holy words Lord, draw me and dazzle me,

Words announcing truth so astounding,

Truth so astonishing…

That it takes more than plain, human words to blindly believe.

It takes your love God.

Your Spirit to interpret, to colour them in and reveal your reckless plan.

What if…. these words… you’ve given us,

Are the lyrics of your heart?

What if you have been writing a love song over us?

Crafting something so profound, that it emerges through the haze

as I ponder, pray, praise.

listening for those grace notes between the melody

that sing out my name;

God who always was; singing his love song to soothe the jangle of human discord

As the holy child interprets God into the language of flesh and blood.

For if words are all we have, then words will coax us gently

 so that we might come closer and meet Your Living Word

A living, breathing, vulnerable infant.

The Jewish boy who grew up and expressed his love with nails and wood,

into Cross-shaped-words of mercy.

What if…

Your living Word really did step out of scripture?

The supernatural becoming natural.

The unbodied becoming embodied.

God for ‘all time’ becoming God for ‘all people.’

Is this the greatest truth I need to discover?

God with us?  

Christmas, present.

Christmas, real.

Christmas, true, for all those who listen

beyond monochrome words of doubt?

‘The Word became Flesh’.

Written into time and place.

Human and divine DNA bonding in every cell of one tiny baby.

The Word Incarnate. so we might discover just how much we matter.

What if….

God really was born 2000 years ago, in a not-so-far off place?

What if…

the archangel Gabriel really did announce his birth?

What if…

that babe lying in the cattle trough, really was  The King of all Kings?

Then that would explain why angels sang over shepherds,

That would explain why magi recognised planets re-aligning in the night sky

That would explain the unfolding family tree that took root so far back.

That would explain why he was born then and there,

at that time, in that way…

For nothing is impossible with God.

And If this really was true then then it is still true today,

Now, here, for me, for you.

Then our words need to change

from ‘Omygod’



And I need to respond, for a wholly, holy and present King cannot be ignored.

Indifference cannot begin with ‘I’

So this Christmas Lord,

unfold and transform your words in us,

as we pause in front of the crib long enough to hear your living Word whisper to us…

‘I really was born for you’


God with us